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Housing Starts, Builder Confidence on the Upswing

With new construction on the rise and the current affordability of homes for the median income earner, consumer confidence is returning to the real estate market.

National Housing starts rose 1.5 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 699,000 from the revised December estimate of 689,000, and they were 9.9 percent above the January 2011 rate of 636,000, according to the latest figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department. Housing starts for single-family homes fell 1 percent in January to 508,000, down from 513,000 in December.

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Permits for new construction edged 0.7 percent higher to 676,000 in January from the revised December rate of 671,000, and they were 19 percent higher than the January 2011 estimate of 568,000.

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